Money, Money, Money
I was in upstate NY with a drywaller who took the day off to visit some people he knew that had left the church years ago. We were seeking to restore them to the Lord. He drove me to this one house and we entered in. After being greeted kindly, we invited him to come to a revival we were having during the week. “Money, money, money” is what he said to us. Frankly, I was taken back. It was only after a little more talking, and reflection did I see that the man actually had a good point.
You see, I was coming from a church that you can read about in your Bible. The church is commanded to assemble (Heb. 10:24-26), so an assembly building/church bld. is authorized. Each Sunday the members of a congregation are commanded to give an amount that each individual determines in their own heart (Acts 5:1-11, 1Cor. 16:1-4, and especially 2Cor. 9:6-7). This money was given to needy members, sometimes in the form of food (Acts 6:1-2). This money was used to preach the gospel (1Cor. 9:14, Phil. 4:10-18). But Paul warns the church not to OVER-BURDEN it’s members. Here is the warning, “If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.” (1Tim. 5:16). So we see that the family needs to be the first ones to help in a financial burden. But if that is not possible, the church can help its own members out of its treasury. The body of Christ is to care for it’s own (Acts 2:45, 4:36-37, 5:2, 6:1-6, 11:27-30, 1Cor. 16:1-4, Rom.15:26-28, 2Cor. 8-9). This limits the amount of money needed to be raised. And the Bible defines what a need is, (in contrast to wants), “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”(1Tim. 6:8). Food. Covering.
But as the fallen away Christian in upstate NY kept talking about the church he was once involved in, he began to make a good point. They wanted money for a college, and a hospital, etc. etc. and he just got tired of hearing the plea for money, money, money. But instead of addressing the problem, he left, and left with a sour attitude. The true man of God will stand up and ask where did God design the church to support a hospital or a college? God didn’t, but man too often changes the design and mission of the church for what he WANTS. God engineered the church for a spiritual mission. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42). It doesn’t cost much to pray together or teach the Bible, spiritual activities. But it does take faith and faithfulness. Dan Peters